3 Books About Postpartum Depression Your Husband Should Read

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Postpartum depression affects many new parents. And while this mood disorder afflicts new mothers more than new fathers, the reality is that no matter which parent has postpartum depression, both parties will feel the effects of the condition.

Many new parents feel anxious and understand that significant life changes will occur when a new baby arrives. But not everyone understands the mental health challenges that commonly come with new parenthood. Spouses may feel especially confused when their partner experiences postpartum depression or another perinatal mood disorder.

One of the best ways to overcome the challenges of postpartum mood disorders is to understand them better and how they may impact your partner. The following books are essential for husbands expecting a new baby. This information can help them respond better to any perinatal mood disorder, including prenatal and postpartum depression, prenatal anxiety, and postpartum anxiety. And knowing how to respond better can help both parties overcome mental health conditions that may arise during pregnancy or after delivery.

The Postpartum Partner: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman

The author of this book is a renowned international expert on postpartum depression. Her literary works have been staples in the mental health community for decades. She founded the Postpartum Stress Center, LLC, a treatment and training facility for prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety disorders.

This book was written with the premise that partners can better understand the illness and its impact when they have good information. Kleiman wrote this book after including a chapter for husbands in an earlier book, This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression, which helped many husbands navigate the difficult period after a new baby arrives with a partner suffering from postpartum depression or another perinatal mood disorder.

It has a reference-style format and addresses specific questions that many new fathers have throughout the course of the illness. The information in this book can help develop supportive relationships during postpartum depression treatment, which is associated with reducing depressive symptoms. Ultimately, it is a great resource to help husbands understand their wives’ feelings and identify the best ways to support them throughout a challenging period.

Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers by Olivia Spencer

This book can be an excellent resource for not only helping new dads understand postpartum depression in their partner but also helping new dads who suffer from postnatal depression, which occurs more frequently than many people realize. One in ten dads will get postpartum depression, and up to 18% will develop a clinically significant anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, at some time during the pregnancy or first year postpartum.

It includes abundant information on the effects of postnatal depression and relationships, as well as social and psychoanalytic factors that explain why men sometimes experience postnatal depression in addition to women. The book’s author discusses this topic with Michel Odent, a renowned obstetrician, writer, and birth expert, and Adam Jukes, a psychoanalyst with abundant experience working with violent and angry men.

It provides insights into male behavior and identifies ways men lack the necessary resources to deal with a new baby. It increases awareness and knowledge about the topic of male postpartum depression. It provides excellent information for any man who wants to understand their emotions after welcoming a new baby.

Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: a Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers by Karen Kleiman

Written by the same author as The Postpartum Partner: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum Depression, this book is the go-to resource for moms, partners, and families who need help during this challenging period.

Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts is packed with world-class guidance, workbook exercises, and cartoons to help moms and their partners by validating feelings, sharing fears, and strategies to start feeling better. And its easy-to-understand form is an ideal balance for busy new parents.

Scary thoughts refer to the negative, repetitive, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts common in new parents. Most new mothers have thoughts or worries about harm coming to their babies but are often prevented from speaking about it with other mothers due to the shame or stigma associated with having such thoughts.

This book helps to normalize the conversation by helping both parents understand how universal these thoughts are. Additionally, this book provides practical solutions for addressing the anxiety and symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks, that are common for many new parents.

The reality is that postpartum depression or other perinatal mood disorders aren’t just a ‘mom condition.’ These mental health disorders often have a profound impact on new fathers, as well. Whether the effects are direct or indirect, new fathers often struggle during this trying period of life. But the books on this reading list can help many new dads adjust and be a better support system for their partner or cope with the illness themselves.

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